Italian Drivers Turn to Bulgaria to Dodge Fines
Italian police are worried about an increase in the number of cars on their roads with Bulgarian and Romanian license plates.
A Bulgarian newspaper reports that for a small fee Italians can avoid the much higher cost of registering and taxing a new vehicle at home.
Instead they can license their car in Bulgaria for a fraction of the price. That's a relief for owners of powerful cars, who face annual bills close to a thousand euros.
Traffic officers say they can do nothing about the avoidance scheme, so long as any car they stop is roadworthy and has been insured.
French TV have conducted their own investigation into the scheme. They found several websites offering to provide an address a thousand kilometres away where your fines from Italian speed cameras will be sent.
A hidden camera filmed a middleman offering to register a foreign car with Bulgarian licence plates.
"I'll put you in contact with a gypsy guy from Sofia," said the man. "For 100 or 200 euros he'll register the car under his name. Afterwards, you insure it and you can use it, no problem."
Bulgaria has so far turned a blind eye to the issue but is now rumoured to be planning a crackdown.